I Know What I Want!

I rarely go window shopping.

When I do it’s because I have a vague idea of what I am looking for and I want to look around to help myself narrow in on what I really want.

The majority of the time when I enter a store I know the exact item I would like to purchase and cannot be convinced to get anything else.

Before making a purchase, I have done my research, I have price shopped, read all the online reviews and even know what retailer I want to purchase the item from.

Sales people have a very hard time trying to convince me into purchasing any additional accessories or picking out another item.

If it is something that I have to save up for in order to purchase I work hard at putting money away over time so that I will be prepared to make the purchase.

I’m an informed buyer, I know what I want and what I don’t want and if a store doesn’t have the item in stock, I can assure you that I will be shopping elsewhere.

My kids see me as stubborn – but I know what I want.

I have often gone shopping with friends and they would notice that I didn’t purchase any items on our outing. When they questioned me about it I will tell them I didn’t intend to buy anything and so all I did was looked around and made a mental assessment of things that I may want in the future. They would shake their head at me but like I said – I know what I want.

So today I was laying on my couch scrolling through my Facebook news feed thinking about how I struggle finding what I am looking for in love.

I playfully went over the notion that it was because as one of my friends said “I was allergic to love”, but when I became honest I accepted my truth, I didn’t know what I wanted.

Or at least I wasn’t consciously aware.

I mean ask me what I want when it came to shoes, clothes, perfume, jewelry, makeup, food, books, cleaning products, household appliances, vehicles and a home and I can tell you everything you need to know but when it came to knowing what I wanted as far as a romantic partner I had a foggy idea but it most certainly wasn’t something I was clear on.

I guess perhaps it really is true that you can’t know what you want until you know what you don’t want.

I mean of course I knew I didn’t want a partner who was physically abusive towards me and I knew I wanted someone I was physically attracted but honestly for the most part I was feeling my way out.

Sad to say it was because I wasn’t secure in who I am. I was fearful that I wouldn’t find what I really wanted because I didn’t see myself as worthy of the ideal partner I had in mind which would result in me being alone.

I’m okay with being alone if I can’t find what I’m looking for but the concept of not being good enough for the type of person I desire is pretty disheartening.

Unfortunately, I have spent the bulk of my life not seeing myself as valuable and telling myself a lie that I had to take what I could get.

That’s how I ended up married at 18, I had honestly convinced myself that if I didn’t marry him no one else would ever want to marry me.

Surprise, surprise to my 18-year-old self I have turned down multiple offers of marriage.

Thankfully, I have grown and become aware that I am indeed valuable.

I have also learned that I must have boundaries for what I will and will not accept.

By having boundaries I stopped being a doormat.

I will not be uncomfortable in order for another person to be happy.

They are free to seek someone who will allow them to do the things that make me uncomfortable but that person will not be me.

After 32 years of not loving myself I created a huge self-love deficit that I have been consciously working on for about 4 1/2 years.

While I have a lot of work to do to reverse that deficit the good news is that I have grown by leaps and bounds.

I have the strength to walk away from relationships that harm me, and that takes a lot of self-love to do.

And so I decided to use that strength to take walk away from my scarcity mentality that if I develop a criteria of what I will and will not accept then it will make it harder to find someone.

A scarcity mentality is what causes many of us to stay in unhealthy relationships because we are afraid that if we leave that no one else is coming. As I previously posted there are over 7 billion people on this planet I promise you someone else is coming.

And with that knowledge I have decided to open myself up to loving and being loved in a romantic capacity to a higher degree.

But in order for me to do that I aknowledgeI flat-out must have standards to go along with my boundaries.

There has to be standards that a guy has to meet in order for me to give him the green light. I had blogged about it before and I had created some standards but I’m going to have to raise the bar.

For one thing he has to be sure about what he wants because I have become sure about what I want.

No more attracting people who are confused all just so we can sit there together in a sea of confusion gleefully wasting one another’s time.

Much to my chargrin my low-level of self-esteem is why I hadn’t developed more standards in the past. I was afraid to reduce the size of the dating pool out of fear I would end up with no one at all.

I simply had to develop standards because when you don’t have standards or in my case very few standards for what you want you will accept darn near anything.

You have to know what you want!

If you know what you want, you will easily dismiss what you don’t want.

Once you make up in your mind people will have a hard time trying to convince you of otherwise and it will help you know what you are looking for when you see it.

Therefore, if you want someone who has the same spiritual beliefs as you and you meet someone who doesn’t you will see it as your signal that they aren’t a match.

I’m not talking about having some inordinate list of criteria for a person to meet but I am talking about having standards for what you will and will not accept in a partner.

I realized that I simply had to outline what I wanted or else I would attract people who are just as confused as to what they want as I am.

I’ve been walking around with a fear of a broken heart since my divorce four years ago and even with that fear I ended up with my biggest heartbreak only two years ago.

So being afraid of opening up is definitely not the way to protect yourself.

Dating and just seeing where it goes without being attached to the outcome has been freeing for me, but I realize I must first do a better job of pre-qualifying the men I date before I try to see where anything goes with them.

And in addition to sticking to a higher level of standards I have also decided that the same way that I do the work of saving up so that I can afford big purchase items is the same way I need to spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally prepare myself to have someone come into my life.

And so after putting pen to paper and making my list – I know what I want!

Love,

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Screening Process

 

Haley

Photo Courtesy of: Haley Hickman

I was on the phone with one of my cousins who explained to me that a guy whom she had went out on a date with had told her that he was going to call her at a certain time, but he never did.

After hearing her say this, I immediately retorted, “I don’t like him”.

I do not know him as a person but I know that I do not like him to fill the role of romantic partner in my cousin’s life.

And this is why…

At the beginning of the relationship his failure to call when he said he would signals his inability to keep his word.

Recognize that it is at the beginning of the dating process that we put our best foot forward.

Therefore, his best foot is him showing that he is not a man of his word.

If this is him on his best behavior then what in the world would he be like on his worst behavior!?!

I will be honest there was a time when I have given guys a pass who obviously didn’t deserve one.

They went out of their way to show me that they didn’t really care about me, but due to my insecurities and low sense of self-worth I would tolerate their poor behavior.

When they didn’t call when they said they would I would think well maybe something happened.

You know something? Maybe something did happen or maybe it didn’t, but I have decided that when it comes to my life I am no longer accepting excuses.

Do I believe that a freak accident could happen?

Of course I do.

But I also know that if a person doesn’t show up for a job interview on time a potential employer who is well skilled will tell the candidate that there is no need to conduct the interview as they failed to show that they have the ability to be punctual for something as important as an interview.

Does it mean that the applicant is a bad person?

No, not at all.

Should the employer give the applicant the opportunity to explain why they were late?

Possibly.

But, if the position is of quality a good employer will give it to the candidate who took the time to not only arrive on time but who arrived early, fully qualified and well prepared.

So if it is unwise to give a job to someone who fails to show up on time for a job interview then why do we give a second chance to someone who fails to show up or call like they say they will in the early stages of dating?

I think we do it out of fear of things such as no one better will come along, feelings of loneliness, desperation for a partner and low self-worth, which results in low standards and a lack of boundaries.

The way I see it is that many of us when we date are looking for someone to spend the rest of our lives with. We want to share our time, energy, vulnerabilities, body, money and in many cases our children with this person.

Think of it, you are going to invite a person into your home and more so your bedroom and your screening requirements are more lenient than what a hiring panel would require for someone to work at a company that may not even belong to them?!

I have hired people to work for companies before and when it came to finding an employee I would start out by reviewing the position and then I would create a job bulletin to be advertised in order to properly market the position.

However, when it came to my own life I didn’t really take the time out to figure out exactly what I was looking for in a partner.

I didn’t do any soul searching I just wanted to be wanted.

Also, before you can hire someone for a job you should make sure that you have the wherewithal to pay them.

But when I would look for a romantic partner I never took the time out to see if I had the time, energy, love or skills to maintain a healthy relationship.

Moreover, I spent a lot of time creating a well thought out job bulletin because I realized that I wanted to attract the best person for the position on behalf of my employer.

And yet when it came to something as sacred as my heart, thoughts, energy, time, space, body, love, trust and care I didn’t put much thought or detail into how I was representing myself.

I am not proud to say that my self-esteem was previously so low that if I had to describe how I advertised a position to have my heart it wasn’t a far cry from:

“Hungry for love, will love for crumbs of attention and scraps of affection”.

The type of people who are attracted to that kind of position in a person’s life are not high quality. Because the kind of person who would hold that sign doesn’t know they are quality.

It took a lot of tears and a massive broken heart but I now know better.

I now understand that just like I made the position that I was trying to fill at my place of employment attractive I have to make the position to be my romantic partner attractive.

This goes so far beyond physical appearance.

For example I wasn’t happy about what I was doing with my professional life. If I wasn’t happy with it, I wasn’t going to find a person who would be happy with it, so I had to make some changes.

I didn’t feel comfortable with my physical appearance so I was going to have to learn to accept myself as I work to become my best self.

I was depressed and so I had to take steps to lift myself up from that depression.

And moreover, I have not created a space for someone to come into my home. Before I can start back dating I have to open up that space.

For example, I am not emotionally ready to get married and move in with someone. The idea of combining my life with someone else makes me uneasy.

I am aware of that and for this reason I am not open to the idea of dating at this point in my life.

There are some changes that are going to have to be made before I could bring someone into my life at that capacity.

Once I have made those changes, then and only then can I begin the dating process.

As for me and my heart, to date before that time would be like those places that take applications for a job but aren’t hiring.

They are wasting everyone’s time.

They are not actively hiring and should simply say so.

I recall that before I would have a new employee start work I had to clean out the work space that they would be working in and remove all traces of the previous employee.

This is similar to how I have to take steps to make sure my heart is completely healed before I try to date someone new.

It would not be fair for me to expect someone new to come in and have to clean up the mess that the last gentleman made.

Before I can date I am going to have to figure out what the minimum requirements are to have my heart.

I don’t have a full list but honesty, faithfulness, shared spiritual beliefs and moral values are definitely minimum requirements.

I recall the amount of time I would spend creating a well thought out bulletin including a brief background of the company, what the job duties of the position entailed what character traits an applicant needed to be successful at the position, the minimum qualifications, the preferred requirements, the benefits and the compensation.

But when it came to my own life I didn’t spend nearly as much thought.

While I had some level of standards my subliminal advertisement for a mate most likely was equivalent to this:

Female with trust, abandonment and anger issues looking for someone to fill a void in my life because I don’t love myself enough to realize that I am the one I am seeking. I am not looking for someone to share my life with because I want to make someone else my life.

Applicant must have a high school diploma, little to no experience required, I will train you and try my best to change you because I have yet to learn that I can’t. I don’t require much, I simply don’t want you to physically abuse me. I don’t want you to cheat on me either but if you do I will forgive you because I don’t realize that I have worth, so I kind of expect to be cheated on.

I prefer someone who I am truly physically attracted to but I will settle for someone who I find mildly attractive because I don’t realize I am beautiful and I figure someone like me has to settle.

With regards to compensation I am a people pleaser so I over give $$$$.  I will let you emotionally drain me. Sure, I will cry and lament telling you that I want you to give back in return but no worries, you will quickly see I am all talk as I will stick around and be your doormat.

By the way previous applicants please feel free to reapply because even though you have made it clear that you really aren’t the best fit, I am scared that no one else will take the position and I am afraid of being alone.

There I was walking around giving off this kind of energy about myself then I wondered why the only type of men who were interested in me were of low quality.

I was behaving like a low quality woman!

So of course Boo Boo the Fool filled out the application for the job.

Men of high quality felt the energy I was giving off and thought ” oh no I don’t want to work there let me see who else is hiring”.

I was so desperate for love I was making excuses for peoples poor behavior.

A person not calling when he says he will is not a quirk.

That is them showing you that they are not a person of their word.

When someone sets off alarm bells at the beginning of your interaction with them, you have to stop allowing them to proceed.

I know for myself there was a time when I would allow others to make me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to seem too harsh or overly judgmental.

I wanted people to like me and I figured being “nice” was the way to go.

But I wasn’t being nice, I was being irresponsible.

I was not taking responsibility for my life.

However, I now realize that I am the gatekeeper for my life.

And in order for a person to hold the position of romantic partner or even friend in my life they must go through a screening process and thorough background check.

Sadly, I have begged people to stay in my life who I knew in my gut did not mean me well.

I settled for poor behavior from men who treated me badly because I didn’t see myself for the greatness that I am.

My time, heart, energy, body, thoughts, emotions and space are sacred.

I wasn’t aware of that before but I am now.

I have decided that when it comes to something as special as my heart I will not be giving anyone else the benefit of the doubt.

Does this mean I might end up overlooking some great guys?

Perhaps, but no more than a company would lose out on a good applicant because they refuse to hire someone who is late for an interview, interrupts the interview to use their cell phone, doesn’t dress for the interview, doesn’t know why they want to work for the company, doesn’t meet the minimum qualifications, shows up unprepared or who isn’t a good institutional fit.

And by institutional fit I mean the person may read well on paper and they may score high during the interview but something in the interviewer’s gut tells them the person just is not the best fit for the work environment.

This is akin to when you are dating someone and you can’t put your finger on it but something isn’t quite right.

Our friends and family may tell us that we are just being too hard or operating out of fear.

But no, if you feel like something is wrong it’s because something is wrong.

After years of heartbreak due to not listening to my intuition I have decided I would rather error on the side of being overly safe when it comes to who I allow in my space than I would to error on the side of being reckless.

I have heard that one of the best ways to yield a different result is to do the opposite of what you are doing.

So when it comes to my life my previous behavior is no longer acceptable, I simply must be more protective of my space.

I have had a bad habit of giving my time, space, heart and energy to people who I knew deep down did not mean me well.

In an effort to prevent that behavior I realize that I am going to have to set some boundaries and have some standards.

We have to start seeing the position of romantic partner in our lives as a high value position that can only be filled by a high value person. And in order to do this we must recognize that we ourselves are of high value.

The reason distinguished companies can turn away applicants who fail to meet their minimum requirements and not look back is because a good company knows that while finding high quality people may take time, they themselves are in high demand and another high quality candidate will surely be in the job pool.

We have to stop being afraid to set boundaries and of having deal breakers.

Walking around in fear that if we have boundaries that it will turn people away is not the way to go.

This is because boundaries are designed to turn people away.

The wrong people.

But you want them to leave!

Boundaries and standards saves you from wasting time with people who are not the best fit for you.

Just like assessments prevent companies from wasting their time interviewing people who don’t qualify for the position.

Even though I am on dating hiatus, I do have men approach me. They often ask what I am looking for in a relationship and when I tell them I am looking to be in a mutually exclusive relationship they immediately stop inquiring. I don’t even have to get to the fact that I am currently not dating because the men who currently approach me are only looking to date casually.

Once I start back dating, mutual exclusivity is a minimum requirement for me to be in a romantic relationship with someone. If someone doesn’t want that then we need not waste one another’s time.

Doesn’t mean they are a bad person, but it does mean they are not the right person for me.

You have to have deal breakers. For me I have decided that if a guy says “I am not looking for a relationship right now” he is automatically disqualified from being a contender for my heart. I wish him the best of luck but it won’t be with me.

Am I suggesting that you should make someone feel like they are on a job interview when you date them?

Not at all.

But what I am asserting is that you are the CEO of your life and you have to properly vet people.

Do a background check and have a tough screening process on all applicants who are vying for a position in your life.

And also if everything seems above board but your gut tells you something is off then don’t proceed.

When it comes to your heart if it doesn’t feel right it’s because it isn’t right.

 

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Close But No Cigar

image

Photo Courtesy of Ron Frazier

I like to travel and go to places I have yet to explore. Sometimes I will just get in my car and drive with the intent of getting lost in the hopes of finding something new. When I go on walks I like to try to go down a road I have never been on with the desire of experiencing something I had never experienced.  And in the age of GPS I have the added confidence to explore without much fear of getting lost.

There are times when I make a turn and I go down some pretty dark roads, or I enter neighborhoods that don’t seem all to safe. I have turned down some roads that caused me to take the long way round and travel further than I had intended. Then there are the moments that I have to pull out my compass because I feel completely disoriented as to whether I am traveling northbound, southbound or if I am going east or west. I have had to take unexpected detours sometimes in my quest to explore, but I have always made it back home. And each time I find something new, be it a new short cut, a new restaurant, a scene in nature that makes me enjoy the beauty of life, an interesting person, a shiny coin or the understanding that I don’t ever want to go back that way again, I always find something.

When I began my self love journey I started venturing on an unexplored route for myself. I wasn’t used to valuing myself enough to let go of toxic relationships. And the idea of consciously speaking positive about myself and breaking habits that impacted me negatively was also uncharted territory for me.

I wish I could tell you that I woke up one morning and cut off all of my toxic relationships and never looked back, but if I told you that I would be lying.

I wish I could tell you that I always eat healthy, exercise daily and take care of my body and treat it only with the utmost respect, but I would be speaking untruths.

And if my story was that I no longer put myself down, or that I refuse to engage with those who do oh how great that would be, but the truth is old habits die hard.

The path to self love is simple but it isn’t easy.

Even though my journey isn’t always easy I have to admit it has allowed me to gain some valuable tools and meet some amazing people. I have also become more self-aware. I have learned some things about myself that aren’t exactly noble character traits and I have also learned some things about myself that are wonderful attributes.

And as the GPS guides me in my car I am able to utilize the literature of amazing authors, and my access to teachings of those who have made great strides in self-love, self-respect, self-loyalty and self-worth. The work that others have done has helped me not to give up my journey.

For there are times when my journey of exploration to self love makes me feel as though perhaps I should turn back because the quest is not easy. This is all new terrain for me. And when I set standards and boundaries it meant many people who were in my life no longer wanted to engage with me – at least not on the new terms I had set.

And while I understood that the falling away of those people was a good thing, I wasn’t quite prepared for the time frame that I would endure where I wouldn’t have anyone come into my life who was willing to treat me with the love that I firmly believed that I deserved.

The scenery that surrounds me is totally different than I had envisioned. I didn’t imagine having people, situations, and things come along that would try to call me back to the way I lived my life before. I didn’t imagine the stumbling, the rocky roads, the set backs and the waiting periods. I wanted to go from A to Z without hitting upon all of the letters of the alphabet, but life doesn’t happen that way.

Despite the scenery being different than I had envisioned I knew in my soul I was on the right path. Yet despite my knowing, the void that the lack of even a prospect for a healthy romantic relationship made me wonder if I had set my standards too high. I started to wonder if maybe I should settle because no one was willing to offer me the kind of love that I wanted. I began to wonder if perhaps a relationship with mutual love, care and respect wasn’t attainable for me.

It is just something about having to turn down poor relationship offers (that mean interacting with someone on their terms while my need to be treated with love and respect goes unmet) and simultaneously having long times between the substandard offers that left me wondering if there was anyone out there who was actually looking for the kind of relationship that I was looking for. I had sincerely entertained the thought of just going back to what was familiar because the road to something better simply wasn’t yielding results in the time frame or way that I thought it should.

The road of something familiar consisted of emotional unavailability, disrespect, being devalued and mistreated but I knew how that road went. I knew all of its intricate details. This whole self love path felt nice but it wasn’t familiar.

Despite it’s unfamiliarity I had become acclimated to the concept of not accepting romantic relationship offers that didn’t consist of love, honesty, care, respect, and exclusivity. Pat on the back for me for not being willing to engage in anything less. I was patting a way just fine until life showed me a path that had what I perceived to be several of those attributes.

You see recently I had the opportunity to enter a path that taught me that turning away someone who appears to be everything you want with the exception that their terms for a relationship don’t match yours isn’t as easy as turning away someone who is clearly uncouth.

When life presented me with someone who seemed to have all the characteristics that I was looking for in a relationship partner with the exception that he didn’t want to be in a serious relationship like I desired it really made me question if perhaps I should yield to the left instead of going straight because the road momentarily seemed like it could possibly lead to something great.

But despite my loneliness, I couldn’t yield to the left nor could I bear to the right, not when I knew in my soul that what I wanted was straight ahead. I couldn’t deviate from the path. Not when I knew that deviating from my path would ultimately lead to where I had came from – a place of self hate and a lack of self respect.

The man was not offering me what I wanted so I had to move forward without him. It wasn’t an easy decision because old me was used to settling for poor relationship partners who I knew were not my best fit, so I had to die to self in that respect.

And also I had to reexamine my thought of ‘I like this person’. When we first meet people they are often are putting their best foot forward. It takes time to truly get to know a person and the truth is I did not know him.

I liked what I saw of him, but I didn’t know him.

But what I did know was there was a huge red flag waving in my face saying he wanted something casual whereas I wanted something serious. That red flag was bright enough to shine light on the path ahead and let me see that he couldn’t possibly be the person that I needed to be journeying with because he was not offering me the kind of relationship that met my standard. The path a relationship with him would have brought me was really a U-TURN to where I had left and I am about forward movement.

So he wasn’t the one.

I thanked him for his honesty regarding what he ultimately wanted out of a relationship with me, but the truth is I was a bit upset that life even presented me with that path.

I thought what was the point in having me interact with someone, get my hopes up only to have him turn out not to be looking for what I am looking for.

You see I just wanted to either meet a guy I could have a relationship with or just be left alone.

Life doesn’t work that way.

I needed to meet him. He was one of the best things that has happened to me.

He showed me that I am shedding away the layers of my old self and making progress.

He confirmed that I truly am serious about wanting healthier relationships.

He helped me to raise my standards because even though we were not looking for the same kind of relationship he treated me very well during our courting process. I now have a higher minimum level of treatment that I am willing to accept because he raised the bar.

He helped me to expand my vision for what is attainable for me. He had positive character traits that I had not previously encountered. And he showed me that there were better relationship partners out there than what I had imagined.

The fact that he and I wanted different things out of a relationship simply means we are not a match. It doesn’t mean he is a bad person or that I am better than him, it simply means that he isn’t the one for me.

Him not wanting a serious relationship with me simply means just that. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with me and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with him. It just means we want different things out of a relationship and therefore are not a match.

And as I travel on my journey I find people, places and things that aren’t a match for my best self. There were the jobs that I thought I would like to have that didn’t quite fit my personality. There were the places I moved to that I didn’t thrive in. And there were the people I hung out with that brought out the worst in me. I learned from them but it is best that I don’t continue done the road with them. In the same way that I can’t stay with people, places, situations and things that are obviously not healthy for me, I can’t let what looks eerily similar to what I want cause me to stray from my ultimate goal.

And my ultimate goal is to be my best self.

On a deeper level I think that relationship opportunity was a test from life. I think life wanted to know if I really wanted the kind of relationship that I talk, write and dream about or if I would settle for something that is close but no cigar. 

You have to know what you want and not settle for less!

It can seem like you are never going to get to anywhere. But that is when you fall back on the teachings of the wise, increase your faith, set your face like flint and dare to believe that your dream of a better you is no fantasy.

I had to reach a place where I understood that if I stay single until my dying day that it doesn’t mean that I am unloved or that I don’t have value. I had to recognize that my love for me means that while I may be physically alone I am not spiritually lonely.

His desire not to have the type of relationship I wanted didn’t mean anything was wrong with me. Alternatively, it simply meant that at this juncture in my life that he was not right for me.

Old me would have tried to fit a square peg into a round hole in an attempt to find a way to make the relationship work. I would have thought maybe if I stuck it out long enough he might come around to my way of thinking. Indeed he would have been perfect for old me. The old me who was used to having someone not give me what I need out of a relationship and who felt the need to be validated by a man would have been the perfect relationship partner for someone who wasn’t interested in a serious relationship.

But new me recognized that God has something better in store for me. New me understood that I do not need external validation in order to feel lovable.

My self-love journey has never been about finding a relationship partner who could love me to wholeness. For I had ventured down that path more than once before and found it to be fruitless time and time again. No my self-love journey is about loving myself for who I am.

And so I sent him love, bid him adieu and got back on track.

I have to believe that even if it turns out that no one is out there who will meet my standards and who will respect my boundaries than that it is better to journey alone than to go down a road that I know will lead to heart ache and pain. I have traveled down roads of putting me last. I have ventured the way of doing what makes others happy in the hopes that one day maybe they just might return the favor.  And I have purposed in my heart that I will not consciously go down those roads again.

So I travel alone without a romantic relationship partner, but I am not lonely because I have learned that I will always have me.

Love yourself enough to know that just because a relationship doesn’t work out the way you had hoped it doesn’t mean that you are unlovable. Don’t settle for less than what you know in your heart you deserve. Believe that you are valuable and that you are worthy because it is true. Even when things seem dark and lonely and you feel like turning back to the path that seems more familiar I urge you to keep the faith and continue traveling on the road to your best self.

Renata Nicole

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